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Skimming Stones



“Right, is everything in the van that you guys want?” asked their mum.  ‘Yes… I think…” they said synchronized, ‘Jinx! Double Jinx!”  ‘”What’s that?” Huhhh… “Triple Jinx! H,a Ha,  I got you.”. Chris ended.  “Mmmm, Mmmm”.  Katie sigh hummed.  “Right Chris check your room and Katie, Katie, Katie… you, check your room too,” their dad said.  “Ha, ha, I can speak now” Katie shouted.  “La, lalalalaaa” she sang as she skipped into her room.  Chris walked over to his bed.  There was a clean mark where it used to be and he scanned the dusty polished oak floorboards for any toys, pencils or anything he’d left behind.  He noticed a glint right between his feet where there was a 1mm thick gap in the boards.  It was loose, he lifted the board up and saw a diary, a *skills diary.  He quickly hid it in his pocket and as he heard his sister starting to say that she had nothing left in her room he ran out and said “nothing. Jinx, Ha, ha,” and smugly walked away. “ It is against the kid law to break a Jinx,” he said calmly but starting to giggle.  “Katie, Katie, Katie,” their mother said with slight annoyance, “and don’t either of you say Jinx, or padlock or any of that… Okay? Good!”  She was starting to get quite angry now.  They got in the car and waited for Chris and Katie to go to the toilet and say their last goodbyes to the flat before going on their big new adventure. 

The New House

I was on the more level side of the sloping hill with the forest as a back garden.  The house was down a mostly unused road apart from the handful of residence who lived in the hamlet who would sometimes drive down past their house.  This was very different to their old city life in the flat. 

When they finally arrived at the rather large house, it dawned on them how tall it was and they had never had a balcony before and the floor of the balcony was made of pristine clear glass as were the barriers. You could see the large garden and forest from it.  They had never had a garden before nor owned part of a forest!  “So, what do you want to do (or see) first?” their mum exclaimed excitedly.  “Mum, didn’t you say that there was a river?” Chris questioned.  “Can I go there?”  “With me or course as his older sister,” Katie said smugly.  “Only by 20 seconds!” Chris shouted.  "Chris, Dad will go with you to the river and Katie you can stay here and be the first one to enter and explore the house.” Their mum Margo said.  “Come on Katie,” she commanded.  “But mummmm,” Katie protested as she was shoved through the dark open door.  Once she was in, there was no going back.  She was still slightly upset that she wasn’t the first person to see the river but also she was the first person to enter the dark lounge; dusty, cobwebbed but homely none the less. 

Back at the river, dad (Tony) was teaching Chris how to skim stones.  Tony was so good that they went all the way to the other bank without sinking.  Chris however skipped the step of skimming and was just left with stone, shallow sinking stones in the clear 5” water.  He did get one skim-jump though and it went about knee deep.  Chris was at first astounded then acted cool like he did it all the time. 

After a while of pleading, Katie was finally allowed to run down to the river and have fun with Chris and Tony.  She also wanted to ask when Ben would arrive (their dog) as Margo said that only Daddy knows the answer to that question! Ben was her best animal buddy brother that couldn’t come in the van with them as it was a ‘no dogs/pets’ allowed area, so Ben would be taken in another way to their forever home and dad was meant to be getting a friend to drop him off or something.  Katie ran down the dusty winding forest path until she reached two sets of outdoor rotting wooden steps, the slope was over 45degrees and she almost slipped on the 17th step.  Then it was an uphill battle as they never took the stairs to get to their old flat as Ben found it quite hard to climb 15 flights of stairs, so it seemed a lot more simple and easy to just go up and down in the lift instead. 

Katie finally got to the river and started spying on Chris until he noticed.  She gave up after a long 2 minutes and instead decided to scare him, “BOO!!!,” said Katie,  “Aahhhhh,” shouted Chris, his stone flew backwards through the air and when it was just about to be lost in the grass, Ben flew through out of the grass with the stone in his slobber gob! And crash landed on the not very soft pebble beach where he grinded to a halt and then started wagging his tail again struggling to pull his legs from underneath him. “Ben!” they shouted in amazement.  Terry came from behind the hawthorn tree. “He ran the whole way here, I couldn’t stop him!” Terry chuckled.  “He ran like no tomorrow when he got your scent; straight down the track, not sure how he coped with the hill though, the steep bit, you know.” “He has never really been good with stairs, thanks for your concern”, Tony made out while being battered and splashed by Ben, “Thank you so much for taking him down, how much for the fuel?” “No worries, it’s a favour, you don’t have to pay, I offered.” Terry said kindly.  In the end he went home with a tenner in his pocket.

Eventually, Katie mastered the skill of skimming stones after about two hours and thousands of plops and splashes all within eyesight.  It was Chris who first mastered this skill and she moaned that she had less time to practice and learn how to skim. In the end she got about five jumps and it landed on the island tree stump.

The first night they slept well, with a gaze of the stars, before their eyes sleepily fluttered closed.  When they all woke up, they woke up to dull browny-grey walls and dusty stone cold floors with boxes littering the house.  “Let’s go on a mini-beast hunt! Come on Chris! Hurry up!” Katie shouted as she ran down and rugby dragged him out of bed.  He had a hard landing. Even the most peaceful and undisturbed times would definitely be disturbed in this family.

 They were allowed to wonder around the paths, but not off the paths, and they were not allowed to enter the water under any circumstances, while the parents unpacked. 

Each day they asked if they could go down to the river as long as they would come home and unwillingly unpack their mountains of stuff out of the boxes.  One day they were skimming stones as usual but Chris asked, “Why are there wood nail peggy things in the tree?” “I don’t know, I haven’t seen that before.” answered Katie.  They went to investigate.  Chris took about his *diary skills book thingy out and tried to find the page he was trying to read about the tree with the wooden pegs whilst Katie looked in the long, tangled, nettle-infested grass for the sign.  “Aha! Found it…wait, what? You found something…?” They said in unison.  Katie exclaimed, “I found a sign with two ripped hanging holes, what did you fi…”, “I found the diary thing that explains what and why the sign is there,” Chris interrupted.  The swapped and looked at what each other had found.  Again, mind-linked synchronization said, “Whoa! Look at that – it has the same handwriting as the sign and book.”  “Swap again?” They asked each other.  “Yeah.” “ Hey, look, look, look! The drawing, what’s that?” Chris questioned.  “It looks like some animal or something in the water. It says ‘Not to be awoken or the tides will show their wrath’. Isn’t that a threat? I hate threats.” Chris said getting angry and he threw his stone into the middle of the water.  The ripples started getting larger and larger and it started to bubble.  Then a wave sploshed over the beach… then…. Nothing.  It was almost like a warning!

Three weeks later, they had fully unpacked and they had not asked once to go to the river and their excuse was that they were bored of it.  They were starting to forget that hectic day with barely any sleep.  They felt like they had lived all their lives there already.  The stickers, posters and their walls were painted their favourite colour(s) (Chris went wild).

It was April fools (the parents’ worst nightmare) and the children were everywhere, even the hamlet inhabitants felt April fools in full swing.  In the end, the parents had enough, they had to get out the guns!  Okay, not real guns, but – Water Guns!  If the adults won -  no more April pranks and if the kids won, they got to carry on the pranks and keep the prankopaedia (the best book in the universe, made by children for children, with no adults allowed).  They had to refill their guns at the river, the most open place where you could get caught.  At the moment it is 5 – 6 to adults with 2 minutes left on the clock.  Adults are 2 players down and the children are one, but two, because one needs the toilet!  The gazelle, (Tony) is in the lions’ lair, (the childrens’ shooting trap), lapping peacefully at the calm water (refilling his gun).  In a blink of an eye, he is caught by the merciless lions – he got soaked.  One minute to noon, and it’s 8-9, two gone from both sides and some on two or one life.  This time it’s the cheetah in the lions’ trap, the child being hunted by the lion (adult).  We only wish he knew what was lying watching in the grass – Margo.  But just before the lion pounces (the soaking), it has seen the dark nose (the tip of the gun) pushing aside the grass as it locks its gaze on the child prey.  It runs, but the lion is a lot faster than anticipated and it is taken down with ease.  Katie was completely drenched.  In the end it was a surprising tie of 12 all, with the last squirt of revenge from Katie at mum Margo.  Neither remembered the splashing warning.

They slept quickly and happily after that and they still had April fools but with a maximum of 10 pranks per child.  The parents were also happy with their half win too.

One day, they completely forgot about what happened at the river, no not the water gun fight, the sign and the warning.  So they asked if they could go back down to the river because they really, really missed  skimming stones and beating each other with the amount of skips before it reaches the other side.  Last time it was ten Chris and Katie twelve.  Chris was very very annoyed by this.  Anyway, back to the helpless children wandering into the danger zone!  They searched for the perfect stone to skim.  “Too thick… too thin… too round” .  “Ah ha,” they said as they both looked at the same stone, then each other, then the stone and then – POUNCE!  They grabbed it, Katie won after a minute of tackling and pushing and shoving.  Katie and Chris carried on finding and skimming beautiful stones but sinking near the middle area of the river.  They started to find the same thin, flat, round pebbles that they had skimmed.  They were even still wet.  They were very, very suspicious now.  “Chuck another stone in,” Katie commanded.  “Why not you,” Chris questioned, “Why do I always have to do your dirty work!”  “Its not dirty work, just throwing a….”  “Never mind, I’ll just do it then…, if you’re too wimpy to do it,” she replied sneakily.  He immediately grabbed  pebble and yeeted it across the river.  It didn’t touch the water though.  “I meant in the water you numpty,” Katie shouted.  He threw another one directly into the centre of the river.  Something bubbled slightly and then ‘plop’!  It landed back straight in front of them.   Two seconds later ‘SPLASH!!!’ something jumped clear out of the water and straight back in.  All they saw was blue, mauve and navy all mixed together in one blurry strip.  It came up again and they saw it a bit clearer but they were frozen and eyes fixed on the water.  This time as it was turning and twisting and saw them it instantly dived.  Katie and Christ saw the occasional head pop up to check if they were still there. Then Chris whispered, “Why don’t we hide behind a tree? And then see what it does when it’s head next pops up”.  “I am bored…. We are going now” Katie annunciated loudly.  “Wait…  please don’t go,” the creature said.  I am lonely.  Both of them turned round quicker than a bullet.  “You can talk?!.... What are you?”  Katie said gobsmacked. 

“I am a Leviranian, do you know where I could find my friends?” the Leviranian answered.  They didn’t know what to say so looked in the diary to see if it had an answer.  “It says that I shouldn’t tell you… and something about a deep sleep… and two left,”  Chris answered.  “What about my friends, Lark, Dipper, Nilah and Skyla?” It asked, starting to get quite upset.  “You have been sleeping for millennia’s but if your friends slept as well then possibly, maybe, it is possible that one or more of your friends may still be here.  Katie said, “Well, they have to be or there would be no Earth because we are the living elements: I am Water, so is Nilah, Lark is earth and Skylah is air,.. Oh, and Dipper is weather.  There are more, like Luva is Moons and Suns (stars too), Nuevah is Plants and life, Morto is death and fire (no one really likes him but I kinda stay with him as water beats fire).  Nuema is creatures and animals and finally Toneda and Cycloah are storms and atmosphere…  Didn’t you know about us?” The water creature asked.  We make this world live.  “No, we don’t know about you,” Katie finally answered.  “Good because if I am found then … doesn’t matter…” Reading the diary, Chris said, “What about the 2 left thing?  Maybe… no … but possibly …. Okay there might be a teeny chance that one other Leviranian water type is left but there should be one for each, sea and ocean, wait…  where am I?”  “In a river,” said Katie stating the (for a human) obvious.  “How did I get here,” it questioned before being barged to the side by Chris with the answer.  “The person who wrote this book did this to save you, he also did the no throw or skim stone sign but … it is very old so I don’t think we can ask the person who wrote it.”  “Yes we can, because he is here with me,” the creature suddenly remembered everything.  “He knew our powers and we can resurrect and reincarnate when we want every thousand years”.  “He gave me this necklace with a locket and a single strand of his hair.”


To be continued…..  

Ellie Lyons age 12




All lies No Truths


Chapter 1:

A clear shot



“No!” Holly’s voice echoed throughout the grand hall. She stopped. Peering down at her hands stained in blood, she couldn’t hold them back anymore. Her eyes started stinging, as burning balls the size of corn started rolling down her pale cheeks and forming puffy rings around her dark eyes. He was dead. She’d known that they’d been having some financial issues and had borrowed some money to keep them going, but she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams that something like this could ever happen.

   The doors swung open and a woman in high heels, a crisp white blouse, along with two large hoops hanging from her ears, entered the huge building-followed by a team of nurses.

“What happened, where is Mr Jones?” one of them stepped forward and asked, her voice trembling in concern.

“It’s too late, they shot him” she managed to stammer out the only words she could, “he’s dead, my father is gone.”

   Three hours later Holly and her mother Latrisha were seated in the police station about to give their statements for the court to decide what would happen to them.

“I arrived just after the shot and found my daughter holding him,” her mother spoke slowly and sniffled throughout the whole talk. About half way through Holly had to take over so that her mother wouldn’t have a break down like the last tornado that tore her life in two.

“I saw… everything. I was buying flour and eggs from the shop. Close by. When I got a call from my father. He told me he loved my mother and I, but he’d made some bad decisions and that there were going to be consequences for borrowing the amount of money he had done,” she paused, “It sounded like he was trying to say goodbye. I was able to recall him telling me he was headed to the hall and so that’s where I went after he hung up.” She took another sip of water and the coldness soothed her dry mouth with a fresh, icy taste, “I entered the building and found a masked man pointing a gun at him, I dropped my bags and shouted at him to drop the gun, but he shot it anyway. He left straight after and that’s all I remember until my mother and the nurses entered a few minutes later. By that point it was too late.” Her voice returned to a mumble as reality poured over her. Who could be such a monster? who?

   That same question kept playing on her mind like a song on repeat, until her mother’s rough, cold tone awoke her from her thoughts. She told her daughter that the court had come to a conclusion and that they were to move to a place more suitable for the time being. During this time her mother would take up a job and they could finally start again.

   It seemed that Holly was keeping it together much better than Latisha on the drive to their new town. Her mother had moved out quite some months ago now and had left Holly with Keith. Holly had always blamed herself for that. As soon as she was born, her mother decided point blank that she wanted little to do with her. Latrisha had left them with no money and hardly anything to get by, after she became well known for her business skills in ‘charming others’ she’d say although it was more like criminal justice.

   They soon found the apartment and approaching the tall, grand manor her senses kicked in as she smelt the freshness of the clean air. The enormous differences compared to her old home was totally crazy. As, it was a much larger community where she was going to be living from now on. Plus, the fumes and chemicals of the burning and exposed gasses seemed to know longer exist in what was like a paradise. The only problem was the obvious reality of no longer having a father. No one to tell you that your room needed tidying nor him telling her goodnight sweetheart, before wrapping his large arms around her slim body and squeezing her tight. That’s what ill miss most, she thought.

Chapter 2:

No mask this time



She fidgeted slightly and pulled out a key from her trousers pocket. Unlocked the door and stepped inside. Wow. Her mother certainly wasn’t poor. However, ever since her parents had separated and she’d gone to live with her father. Latrisha hadn’t had anything to do with her.

   “Why,” Holly’s expression changed immediately as soon as she was behind the closed doors of her new and very purple bedroom. She groaned. It was now her time to have puffy rings around her eyes. Streaming down her fleshy cheeks now came devastation along with a bunch of unanswered questions, her main one being. Who?!

   Okay, now yes, her mother had always been into her early mornings, but under zero circumstances was it possibly okay to wake the whole neighbourhood up with dancing queen. Ugh, great of course it was Monday. She’d have to go to school still, and there she was thinking she’d be able to lay low. Of course not.

“Right. Things are about to change big time around here. Starting with your timetable routine” her mother’s eyes widened and nose wrinkled up, “phew, what on earth- actually, never mind I don’t think I want to know what that smell is, but you are taking a shower and now.” If there was one thing, she did know about her mother it was don’t mess with her. This was going to be a long day.

  She entered the school of her nightmares although to be honest it wasn’t completely unbearable. She neared corner 1, corner 2, door 1… 3… 7… finally.

  She slumped on top of a chair next to a girl with pale skin like a fluffy cloud. A long, woolly, green jumper with a dark braid down to her waist.

“can I sit?” she tried to hide her anxious tone.

“sure, I’m Blair, can I ask?” she giggled with a light voice

“Sure.” Holly seemed to actually enjoy her first day. In fact, she ended up going home with Blair Hall her new friend. Everything seemed to be going… good. Until she met her father.

“Dad I’m home and I brought a friend if that’s okay, oh Holly did you call your mother and ask if it was okay?” the same light voice welcoming her into their home felt warm.

“oh, she won’t even notice I’m gone” Holly was certain that her mother didn’t even realize she was there.

“Hi, welcome to our home my name is Brandon Hall and-” his voice came to a sudden jolt, “y…you!” his expression changed instantly after laying his deep, brown eyes on her, “You are her, why are you here? Get out now!” his soft personality changed to terror. Before Holly could even start to understand the secrets that were yet to emerge from the depths of reality, she was being pushed outside of the house, whilst he kept a shaky balance in his shocked voice.

“Dad what on earth are you doing—” Blair’s jaw dropped open as she found herself being pulled back into the house by her father.

   ‘what had just happened’ Holly had waited for about five minutes until she’d started making her way back towards the house.

   It was strange, she felt like she had met him before during a negative experience, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. 



Chapter 3:

No lies left to tell


She approached her guitar and decided to carry on recording her song: Name ‘13th of April’. Picking up her instrument and pressing the button to start recording when her phone suddenly rang.

“Hi, I need to apologise for my Dads behaviour earlier. He thought he recognised you from somewhere—" the door on the other end of the line sounded as if it had been ripped off its hinges.

“Never speak to that girl ever again, she is a Jones,” her father was throwing a tantrum, “they use you for money. Her father was the man I went to see that day because he was unable to pay back the money, he borrowed…” Holly’s blood ran cold, a shiver, hairs stood up. She was petrified and frozen to the spot.

“I shot him. It was me!” the last words she heard were the words she was convinced she’d never experience. Her one question, answered. ‘Who?’

  ‘No one is all good.’ All this time, not being able to do or say anything. Yet there she was sitting in the police station her left hand griping her black, ripped jeans showing off her tanned, olive skin. Right hand moulded into a recorder she’d used for yesterday’s incident. This was it. She was about to end the lies behind her father’s secretive murder, there and then.

 Asher Jenkins

Age: 13

From One to Another!

Blood? All I remember seeing was the dark, red ooze of blood on the floor surrounding him. This was just the beginning of the mystery. Who was this man, why did he die? And most importantly how? The body had barely begun to rot and decay; as it lay sound asleep on the cold, damp floor.


We found this stranger under a bridge in, under the highway. Also found at this very crime scene was a wallet laid down next to him. Within the wallet was a small picture of a baby boy. Who was it though? That was the question. This was great news. We had identified who the stranger was, as well as where he lived. To make things better. We found an address book filled with various addresses. Things were finally looking up!


The book was soaking wet. This suggested that it must have rained in the area. Or he was dragged from one place, to another. There was no simple answer for this. Maybe he was there to meet someone. But who, and why? So many questions. Well, to be honest. That is where everyone has to start. When my mind came back down to Earth, I found myself in the examination room. The bright blue door flung open, slamming against the wall and back. That’s when she walked in gasping for air.


Once the withered, lifeless body was taken to the police station for further examination. It was freezing, as though it had been placed inside a freezer with an extremely low temperature. Alongside me, stood two other police officers. They had found a wallet; and within that wallet was an I.D card. This was exactly what we needed. It was from the floor of the crime scene.


The professional. Johns raced in. By the sound of her voice, I could clearly clarify, that she had ran here. Which explained why she was so out of breath and breathing heavily. Johns hung her purple coat up onto the rickety old peg. They really need to fix it; before the peg comes tumbling down creating a loud thud. Or bang.


Anyways… she put on her lab coat in order to examine the body. Because well, what else would you do in an examination room? We were both so eager to get straight into the investigation; I could see it in her dark green glowing eyes.


To begin with, I showed her the victims belongings and pieces of clothing. We then turned to face the table where he was silently lay down under a sheet which hid his face. I picked up the I.D card but, was then called out of the room. However, I had forgotten to put his I.D card back by accident. So, I walked back into the room and put it back. A young woman was stood at the front desk terrified as though she had seen the dead.


She said that her brother had disappeared without a trace. Out of nowhere she asked me why I had his wallet. Which I had foolishly forgotten to give to Johns. So, I took her to the other side of the examination room to see if she recognised him in any way.


As usual, I saw the expression of recognition in her face. She definitely 100% knew who he was. Tears fell started to flood her as she cried claiming that it was her brother! Sam. So many emotions, and feelings were going in and out of her mind at the moment. She told me her name was Claire. So, it was good to know he had family. That could help us with the investigation.


To take her mind of this crazy situation as she claimed it was. The decision was made for me to take her away from the station. We could see that it was clearly too much for her to process. I went back into the room where Johns was studying the cold lifeless body and put the grey torn wallet back on the table. We put our jackets back on and made our way outside the building and headed towards my car.


We got into the car and Claire knew exactly where she wanted to talk. A place where she felt happy, a place she and Sam found years ago. A place in the countryside. On our way to where ever we were going. Claire didn’t say a single word. This meant that she had something really important to tell me. For what seemed like the quietest hour we finally arrived at a clearing.


This site was said to be the most wonderous and beautiful place in the entire countryside. Well what people had said about this place was true. This was definitely right place to be. I should come up here more often to think. The view certainly takes ones breathe away in an instant. Infront of stood a sturdy wooden bench. Our bodies sat silently as the sun started to set and a red ring covered the tops of every brick in the city.


My eyes shimmered like one thousand bright blue sapphires in a cave as I watched in awe. I gave Claire a few moments to take a breath before telling me everything she knew about her brother. She told me that she had not spoken to her brother for two years. This meant, that she did not know a lot which was not useful what-so-ever. But she did tell me that he was married and had a son. This I found quite useful.


After a while, I asked her the same question that I ask many people. Some people have a few enemies here and there. So, did he have any enemies or anyone she could think of who disliked him? Or anyone who might have wanted something, lets say, ‘bad’ to happen to him.


So… Who killed him? Will I get anymore answers from Claire, will I ever return to this beautiful location? We all have questions.

To be continued…

Jazmin Perez Lefebvre

Age 14

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